The Angels seemed willing to try just about anything to bust out of their losing streak, which finally ended at 14 games late Thursday night with a 5-2 win over the Red Sox in Anaheim.
First, they fired Joe Maddon, which was something of a surprise. Then, during Wednesday’s game without Maddon at the helm, each and every Angels player changed their walk-up music to Nickelback. Yes, you heard that correctly. Nickelback. Now, I’m Canadian, so perhaps the cultural loathing of Nickelback isn’t as rich in the US. In Canada, there is something we call “CanCon” which refers to a radio broadcast requirement that a certain percentage of all music played on Canadian airwaves must be Canadian.
So we’ve all heard a lot of Nickelback. And none of it is good.
Which is why I tell you that I am not surprised the Nickelback Offensive did not work and only punished those who had to listen to it. Better luck with the next plan, Angels.
The Angels turned to Nickelback walk-up songs to end their losing skid. The baseball gods struck back after their ears started bleeding. The streak is now at 14 losses in a row after a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox, with Mike Trout still sidelined and day-to-day with a groin injury.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 9, 2022
Now on to the rest of today’s links.
- The other major story this week has been a new allegation from umpire Angel Hernandez that MLB has manipulated umpire reviews to poorly reflect on minority umpires. Story by Daniel Kaplan. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- With over a dozen losses, the Angels needed to do something, and evidently that something was firing Joe Maddon. Jay Jaffe reflects on the bold move.
- Thomas Harrigan provides a look at who has the early lead in Cy Young contention.
- Looks like we’re not quite finished talking about sticky stuff, as a new iteration is being tested in the minors, though not all pitchers are happy about it, shares Evan Drellich. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- We certainly aren’t getting the home runs we have in previous seasons (unless you’re Aaron Judge), so David Schoenfield wonders: what does good offense look like in 2022?
- Joey Bart is not Buster Posey. Jay Jaffe looks at the struggles of the Giants’ catcher.
- All-Star voting is approaching and Will Leitch offers one player on each team who deserves a nod.
- Speaking of All-Stars, Nick Selbe wonders how worried we should be about some former ones making a repeat appearance.
- Nestor Cortes is definitely a player whose name is being mentioned in connection with the All-Star Game, and Joon Lee asks if his new good luck has something to do with his mustache.
- And given how we’re looking at pitchers right now, Eno Sarris tries to use recent trends to assess a true ranking of pitcher quality this season. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Daniel Chavkin looks at one minor league play-by-play announcer who is gunning for a chance to fill John Sterling’s shoes.
- Ben Clemens looks at what A.J. Minter is doing that’s really messing up batters.
- Did the home run steal of the year happen in the Women’s College World Series? Manny Randhawa offers one up for your consideration.
- Just a reminder that the White Sox record is worse than the Angels’ AND the Philies, and Tony still has a job...
“I mean is that really a question?”— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) June 9, 2022
Tony La Russa suggests that it was obviously a good decision to intentionally walk Trea Turner with two strikes to get to Max Muncy, who hit a home run pic.twitter.com/8WYlwJTCm0
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.